Stewart Title and ZK Homes Partner to Offer Houstonians an Eco-friendly Real Estate Closing Experience

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Two Houston-based companies offer a "Green" experience from construction to closing

HOUSTON (Aug 12, 2009) – Stewart Title Company (STC), a wholly owned subsidiary of Stewart Information Services Corp. (NYSE-STC), and ZK Homes, an eco-friendly luxury home builder, partner to offer the Greater Houston area a green closing process.

Stewart Title, the first title insurance company to launch a green initiative, will exclusively handle the real estate closings for ZK Homes, which includes green communities built in compliance with the ZK Green program. ZK Homes has two current developments in Bellaire and its newest flagship development in Sugarland, the Enclave at Lake Pointe, which features the first Certified Gold NAHB Green Home. Each of these developments will use Stewart Title Fine Properties, a Green Recognized Stewart office, located in the Galleria for their real estate closings.

"We are pleased to join forces with ZK Homes – providing homebuyers with an eco-friendly alternative to a typical paper-based closing," said Buzz McCray, vice president and regional director of builder developer servicers for Stewart Title Company. "Through the use of our technology systems, including SureClose®, homebuyers will be able to view the status of their transaction 24/7 in the convenience of their own home from a secure website, as well as review their transaction documents before they get to the closing table."

"At Stewart Title we are working to move the real estate transaction to green with our Stewart Green Initiative," said Matt Morris, senior executive vice president of Stewart Title Company.  "We are dedicated to industry-leading technology and to environmental sustainability that will set the pace for the real estate industry to reduce, reuse, recycle – and rethink the way our business is done."

Lee Zieben and John Kirksey Jr., innovators in the green building arena and owners of ZK Homes, create an entire lifestyle for the homebuyer from extensive recreational amenities to preserved natural features – offering luxury as a standard. This includes the ZK Green program which integrates some of the building industry’s best practices and eco-friendly materials to create healthy, energy-efficient homes in Houston that allow homeowners to reduce energy costs.

"We build our homes with both the environment and luxury in mind and Stewart Title offers eco-friendly services and an exceptional closing experience – the partnership with Stewart Title is a natural fit," said John Kirksey Jr., co-owner of ZK Homes. "By working with Stewart Title we are able to extend our green business model from the construction of the home and the communities to the actually closing process. Now, we are not only building energy-efficient homes that incorporate sustainable products and materials, we are offering our homebuyers an online experience 24/7."

Stewart Title launched their Green Initiative in late 2007, and offices continue move to green through the use of technology and in the areas of environmental mindfulness, mixed-use recycling, advocacy, associate action and creative eco-solutions. For more information on Stewart’s Green Initiative, visit http://green.stewart.com. For more information on ZK Homes latest development or see their eco-friendly home in person, attend Sugar Land’s Enclave at Lake Pointe Open House on Thursday, August 13th or visit www.zkhomes.com.

About ZK Homes

ZK Homes offers a unique approach to home building – focusing on developing high-end urban gated communities, with a high density of patio and town homes. The company develops and builds exclusively in their communities. In their short four year history, ZK Homes has received numerous PRISM Awards, including Patio/Garden Home of the Year, Product Design of the Year for homes in the $400,000 to $600,000 range, and Best Custom Elevation for homes in the $400,000 to $600,000 range. Recently the company was honored for Best Master Bedroom in Texas by the Texas Association of Builders. In addition, the company has been featured in The Houston Chronicle and Houston Business Journal five times, and was recently named as the 36th fastest-growing private company in Houston. For more information about ZK Homes call (713) 715-1454 or e-mail marketing@zkhomes.com, or visit them online at www.zkhomes.com.

About Stewart

Stewart Title Co. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Stewart Information Services Corp. (NYSE-STC), a customer-driven, technology-enabled, strategically competitive, real estate information, title insurance and transaction management company. Stewart provides title insurance and related information services required for settlement by the real estate and mortgage industries throughout the United States and international markets. Stewart also provides post-closing lender services, automated county clerk land records, property ownership mapping, geographic information systems, property information reports, flood certificates, document preparation, background checks and expertise in tax-deferred exchanges. More information can be found at www.stewart.com.

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